Live A Live: for enthusiasts

Having not been released outside of Japan since its release in 1994, Live A Live has finally made it to our consoles. Was it worth the wait? Yes. But only for fans of role-playing games.

live live

Photo courtesy of Nintendo.

This Live A Live took some time before we opened it. Some didn’t even hope for it anymore after nearly 30 years of captivity in Japan. But today, Nintendo is dusting it off to give it new life all over the planet. Along the way, the entire game has been overhauled, redesigned, and above all redesigned to result in an infinitely smoother and more visually appealing version.

live live

Photo courtesy of Nintendo.

As soon as the cartridge is inserted into our consoles, the story unfolds in seven chapters, each dedicated to a different era: from prehistory to the far future, through the Far West, Edo Japan, Imperial China, and even the current era, the player is drawn into parallel narrative branches that can be explored in any order he wishes. These stories, of course, will come together in the last part.

Good idea…but it might confuse some people. Example? We thought it best to follow chronological order, starting with backstory, to finally encounter a universe where the protagonists are practically silent, bypassing classic manuals and explanations of game mechanics. We quickly revised our itinerary to prioritize other times when the landing was, shall we say, softer.

a little old

There’s also this subtle old-fashioned aspect that comes out of this mechanic. They do buckle a little under the weight of the years, falling behind recent triangle strategy or even Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. In that sense, Live A Live might not be the best introduction to the genre for beginners. We guess, however, that those who grew up on games of the same kind will find themselves there instinctively and without much hassle. It’s up to you to choose your side.

Do you hesitate to get it? The good news is that the demo version, which is free to download, lets you form your own opinion.

Live Live ★★★★

  • Available on Nintendo Switch

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